Journal of Emergencies, Trauma, and Shock
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-69

Strategies for coping with stress in emergency medicine: Early education is vital

1 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego, USA
2 Department of Emergency Medicine, St. Luke's/ Roosevelt, New York, NY, USA
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA
4 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of South Florida, and Tampa, FL, USA
5 Department of Emergency Medicine, Wayne State University, Detriot, MI, USA
6 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
7 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado, Denver, CO, USA
8 Department of Emergency Medicine, Baptist Medical Center, St. Louis, MO, USA
9 Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Louisville, KY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Gillian R Schmitz
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of California, San Diego
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-2700.93117

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Introduction: Physician burnout has received considerable attention in the literature and impacts a large number of emergency medicine physicians, but there is no standardized curriculum for wellness in resident education. A culture change is needed to educate about wellness, adopt a preventative and proactive approach, and focus on resiliency. Discussion: We describe a novel approach to wellness education by focusing on resiliency rather than the unintended endpoint of physician burnout. One barrier to adoption of wellness education has been establishing legitimacy among emergency medicine (EM) residents and educators. We discuss a change in the language of wellness education and provide several specific topics to facilitate the incorporation of these topics in resident education. Conclusion: Wellness education and a culture of training that promotes well-being will benefit EM residents. Demonstrating the impact of several factors that positively affect emergency physicians may help to facilitate alert residents to the importance of practicing activities that will result in wellness. A change in culture and focus on resiliency is needed to adequately address and optimize physician self-care.

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